We've updated our digital safeguarding policy

What we've changed and why

04 August 2021

We recently made some changes our digital safeguarding policy.

In March this year we put out a consultation which asked volunteers what you thought of the policy, and how you used it.

Over 470 of you replied – and gave us some really useful feedback. We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to provide us with this feedback. Thank you!

Based on what you told us, we made some changes. We've done more to better explain some of the points we talk about, like “digital platforms”, “digital devices”, and what the difference is between them. Some of these terms can be confusing, so if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us. Email us on [email protected]

We’ve also changed the way the policy is presented, so you won't need to scroll up and down the page trying to find what you're looking for.

Lots of you had questions about storing photos. We all know how important it is to keep and share memories of great guiding experiences – but just like the adventures we do, we have to do this in a safe way. So we've explained when and where you might need to get permission, and how best to do it.

The online world moves quickly. Often this is good – we’ve loved how our volunteers used Zoom to host guiding events when we were all in lockdown. But it comes with its risks. We've updated some of the types of online harms that you or your members might encounter online – like “catfishing”, where someone steals someone's identity online.

We reviewed the relevant laws we need to follow, and also made it clear who is responsible for digital safeguarding at Girlguiding, when we might share information with other agencies, and who you need to contact in an emergency.

We’ve also updated our digital safeguarding procedures so they’re clearer on what you need to do to uphold this policy.

To help our volunteers and members stay safe online, we've outlined what is acceptable use of digital technology, how you can protect personal data, and how to reduce access to illegal or inappropriate content.

When it comes to creating a safe space online, we’ve updated the steps you need to take when holding virtual meetings, including which digital platform to use, how to run a virtual meeting safely, how to support young members in virtual meetings, and how to manage visitors to virtual meetings with young members,

The digital safeguarding checklist and risk assessment has been updated and renamed ‘virtual meeting checklist and risk assessment’.

We’ve given more guidance on disclaimers for social media accounts – this includes what to add to social media accounts set up in the name of Girlguiding .

We've included information about how you can communicate with young members digitally, which includes what you should do if a young member starts a one-to-one conversation online, and when a young member contacts you using an app or social media platform that isn’t age appropriate.